Motivation, when harnessed correctly, can lead us into action. Motivation should be part of your regular routine – it is necessary to keep you uplifted but some of us get stuck on being motivated and do not move beyond the message. When I look at how many clients come to me for personal branding consultations, many know what they need to do to improve their personal brands but are simply not motivated. There comes a point when we need to ask ourselves the right questions. How many motivational books and quotes have you read? How many motivational conferences and seminars do you attend? How many videos and podcasts do you listen to? I ask this not to say that you should stop being motivated but if you are not using the principles that you are learning to move forward what is the point? Some people are becoming stuck in the motivational cycle – constantly seeking the answer to the questions they already have the capability of answering for themselves. I have been inspired by so many great books like Richard Templar’s Rules of Life and inspirational business leaders like Oprah and Carla Harris, I have spent time listening to so many fantastic interviews and every time I am uplifted by their messages I do my best to activate the lessons from those messages. That is what I would like you to do – I would like you to start activating the lesson in every motivational message you hear/read/watch. Activating may not even mean doing something tangible in that moment it could be finding peace and joy at a time when you feel down and worried.
Life has a very interesting way of humbling us. We can have all these ideas, plans and goals in the world and do the work to make things happen but sometimes results feel like they’re taking an eternity to manifest. It can feel like progress is slow and sometimes it feels like you’re not making any progress at all. In this video I’m sharing a slightly different style of message. After having conversations with some mentees about progress I just wanted to encourage other people who might need to be reminded that delay is not denial. I am not a business coach but I understand the challenges that business owners face and in fact this message resonates for professionals too.
In business it can seem like things may not being moving in the right direction or even moving quickly enough. But quite often when things take longer than we anticipate it’s for good reason, it means that the timing is not quite right for a breakthrough in your business but that doesn’t mean that the breakthrough isn’t going to happen. Don’t lose hope, don’t get caught up believing that because what you want to happen hasn’t happened yet that it never will! I know it sounds like a cliche but the best things in life take time, you have to learn to be resilient, you have to be patient. That doesn’t mean that you have to stop moving forward, just because you think your successes haven’t come to fruition yet that doesn’t mean that you should give up. Sometimes we can be our own harshest critics, if you took the time to assess your accomplishments you might be a lot closer than you give yourself credit for.
It has taken me a while to write this post, I am not sure why though. Perhaps it was just a matter of finding the right words at the right time. It was not because I was in some sort of denial over his passing because we had him for so long, it was his time to pass and we were blessed to have had him at all.
Muhammad Ali inspired me in so many ways and yet I grew up long after he had stopped boxing. That is simply a reflection of how much of a legacy he had built. Like anyone who has ever truly lived their truth and served their full purpose on Earth, Muhammad Ali’s legacy will never be forgotten, he made such an impact on the world. When business challenges start to weigh me down once in a while I’d read a quote from him and just feel motivated to keep on trying, to not give up.
“I’m going to dedicate my life to using my name and my popularity to help people and unite people” – Muhammad Ali.
Put simply he was a sports personality who used his influence and name to do good and give back in so many ways. He was such a media savvy individual, I have no doubt that his PR team must have been in heaven every time he did or said something which was deemed as controversial. He knew how to work the press to his advantage and knew the power of PR so well that very often it seems as though he controlled the narrative that surrounded him…even some of the negative coverage. Here is an excellent piece featuring one of the publicists who represented him: http://www.prweek.com/article/1397538/handling-pr-greatest.
He was a teacher too, his confidence and pursuit of equality for black people during his lifetime inspired me to be proud. He reminded me that it was up to me to win at life, whenever I forgot I see his words and remember.
He was of course human and made mistakes along the way, yet his courage and determination were out of this world. He stood up for what he believed in and even as his health deteriorated he still did what he could to uplift and inspire generations. Growing up I couldn’t identify with many of the fairy tales that society wanted us to find our heroes from and so I had to look elsewhere. My family was of course my first port of call, my parents were and still are proud Nigerians and in fact it was my father’s love of boxing that opened me up to the world of Muhammad Ali. Outside of them a personality like Muhammad Ali was a real life hero to me. A black man who was unashamedly black. He represented the truth that my parents instilled in me, that black people are a people of dignity and excellence no matter what. No matter what damaging ideologies that society keeps trying to force us to believe. We are great. We can be great no matter what barriers we are faced with.
As a black woman in business he truly made me want be a champion. I will watch my DVDs of his fights and read his quotes and remember that with every win comes a chance to truly be great, a chance to leave a legacy and make a difference in this world and for that I will always be grateful for his life.
“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” – Muhammad Ali, January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016